Under the guidance of Tori Brown, HAWC’s Children’s Services Advocate, the children living at HAWC’s Emergency Family Shelter have grown a garden that sprouts both flowers and vegetables. Given COVID-19 social distancing safety protocols, Tori was brainstorming ways to engage the kids in our shelter program safely outside. She asked the children if they wanted to grow food and flowers and received an overwhelmingly excited response!
The children engaged in a group conversation about which flowers and vegetables that they wished to grow. With much excitement and many great ideas, it was easy to get started. After an important discussion about taking care of plants and what they need in order to grow and be healthy, it was time to begin planting.
The kids helped in each and every aspect of creating a blooming garden! They took initiative in preparing the garden bed, planting the flowers and vegetables, watering the plants, and labeling the different foods that were growing.
“A garden is a great way to teach kids about where their food comes from, while also giving them a chance to tend to something and watch it grow,” Tori said.
In addition to our shelter guests being able to enjoy the blooming flowers, the food produced in the garden may be able to introduce cooking programs at the shelter in the future. Other benefits of the Education Garden include the children’s immersion into nature, their ability to take on and enjoy a new skill, and the confidence and satisfaction aligned with achieving growth in a new project. Great work, kiddos!